Karajan/BPO: Beethoven 9 Symphonies - DG SKL 101/8 (8LP box set)
Box EX / LPs NM-
Small bit of scuffing to lower front panel; no splits or corner breaks, else fine. Booklet included. There is a small bit of writing to one page of the booklet, else fine.
This is now, after the passage of nearly 50 years, something of a collector's copy. Though it constitutes the most widely sold Beethoven cycle on LP, this is the absolute original issue, a numbered subscription copy – in stereo – from 1963 of Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic’s first Beethoven Symphony cycle, recorded in the fabled acoustics of Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin during the winter of 1961/62 – a true landmark in the Beethoven discography and in gramophone lore.
This is subscription copy No. P 342. The certificate of authenticity was pasted by DG on the inside of box front panel
The catalog details are as follows: This is the 8LP box set from Deutsche Grammophon (SKL 101/8, German pressing, tulip labels, stereo, oversize cloth box, original inner sleeves and full-size 28-page booklet included).
Wrote the eminent critic and Karajan biographer Richard Osborne of this cycle in the 1997 Awards issue of The Gramophone:
"Edward Greenfield's review of the set in February 1963 entered a number of caveats, some of which still pertain, though it is the lack of certain repeats and the non-antiphonal dispensation of the violins that worries me most nowadays. What so enthused EG was the urgency of the music-making, its vitality and, ultimately, a fierce sense of joy that had its natural point fulmination in a thrillingly played and eloquently sung account of the finale of the Ninth.
"The playing of the new rejuvenated Berlin Philharmonic dazzled throughout (it still does), as did the recordings of the young Gunther Hermanns: clean and clear, and daringly (occasionally too daringly) 'lit' with a bright shimmer of reverberation.